So you bought a Jeep Wrangler. Maybe you like how well it does in the snow. Maybe you hope to do a little off-roading when you get a free Saturday. Or maybe you just like the looks. The fact is, you ended up with one of the most capable SUVs on the market, on- or off-road. The JK, especially the 4-door version, has been extremely successful for the Jeep brand, making it the 6th best selling marque in America. That’s great for aftermarket support, but it also means there’s a billion other Jeeps just like yours rolling around. And you’ve seen the pictures. You know you can do anything with a JK. but do you want to? Many of those extreme Jeep JK mods would be useless to you, since you rarely, if ever, take your Jeep off road. So is there some middle ground? Is it possible to make your Jeep your own without transforming it into something found in Fury Road? Absolutely. We’ve put together a short list of some incredibly accessible and easy Jeep JK mods on the market, stuff that will help you enjoy your current Jeeping experience better, without alot of work.
Welcome to Stage 1.
We’ll start with a staple of the modern summer vacation: the bike rack. You have a couple of options here. We recommend Yakima or Thule due to their extreme durability and ease of installation. And what could be easier than plugging something into your trailer hitch? Depending on your JK’s trim level, you might have bought your Jeep with a trailer hitch already installed. If you didn’t, we can hook you up there, too, with this extremely durable and affordable hitch from Draw-Tite. Once you’re sure your hitch is in place, check out this great 4-bike carrier from Yakima: the FullSwing. Alternatively, Thule’s Apex Swing system also carries 4 bikes. Both systems unlock and swing away horizontally like your Jeep’s rear door, so you can open it whenever you need. And both carry bikes safely and securely, including a cable lock that threads through your bikes. Both are designed to fit any vehicle with a 2″ hitch, so you can switch them out to other vehicles as needed.
Your other option is somewhat unique to the Jeep. Since you’re equipped with an external spare tire carrier, you can attach a SpareTime spare tire bike rack, also from Yakima. It holds two bikes and bolts right up to your spare tire mount. It swings away with the door and you can still carry your spare in place without issue. The SpareTime, however, only holds two bikes, as opposed to the four on the hitch-mount carriers.
Both of these options are great if you have a soft top and can’t rig up a roof rack. What’s that? You don’t have a soft top and you’re tired of missing out on all the convertible fun of owning one? No worries. We have you covered for the thing that covers your Jeep. Without a doubt, the finest Jeep soft tops on the market are made by Colorado-based manufacturer Bestop. If you’re rocking a 2-door Jeep, you can’t do much better than the Bestop Supertop NX. If you’re running a 4-door, we recommend the Trektop NX. Both allow you to flip back the front for a “Sunrider” convertible top, and both allow you to zip out the side and rear windows to simulate a safari top.
Plus, both are pretty easy to install. And if you don’t believe me, I have evidence:
Instant fun! You’ll have even more fun if you don’t have to worry about your paint. And when you’re on the road, the most vulnerable painted area on your whole Jeep is the leading edge of your hood. It catches bugs, whose guts can actually be acidic enough to damage your paint, rocks, and road salt. This way you won’t have to deal with the nasty, worn look of a scratched up hood. AVS has been making car stuff since the 1930s, and their Bugflector II is nearly invincible. Here’s how easy that one is to install.
For a bug shield with a totally different look, check out this Bushwacker TrailArmor hood and tailgate protector set. It’s part of Bushwacker’s really cool TrailArmor line, which is functional but also looks great, distinctive, and a bit edgy. It includes stuff like these rocker covers for the 4-door and 2-door.
Finally, now that we’ve added some protection for the exterior, how about some Jeep JK interior mods? How the inside looks is just as important as how the outside looks, and if you can have factory fresh flooring even after years of your feral children’s best efforts to destroy it. You just need some Husky Liners floor mats. We tend to gush about these things, but that’s because they deserve it. They’re nearly invincible, don’t move once they’re in place, and hold insane amounts of liquid. When they get dirty, you just lift them out, hose them off, and drop them back in. We’re not going to include an installation video, because it would be two seconds long: just drop them in. You have some options with Husky. You can get the X-Act Countour mats, which have a slightly lower profile, including mats for the back seat; or you can go with the Weatherbeater, which has a slightly different design and look, and is also available for the back seat. There’s even the WeatherBeater cargo liner, which sits in the rear cargo area and protects the carpet from spills, pets, and all the gross things you can’t imagine.
See? Modding your JK doesn’t have to be a huge project. It doesn’t have to change your Jeep into a monster truck. It just takes a few simple upgrades to make it yours and a little more functional. If you have any questions about these Jeep Wrangler JK mods, please give our expert, American techs a call at 877.787.8989, or just ask in the comments below.
Already have this stuff? Ready for some slightly more advance Jeep Wrangler mods? Check back next week, when we crank it up from Stage 1 to Stage 2.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.